Leave Logic and Training Behind
For most of my life, I thought of myself as logical. I evaluated situations using reasoning skills and incorporated lots of analysis into my carefully-planned moves and decisions. In school, I did well in science and math, which only solidified my idea of my logic-driven self. Thinking this myopic view was really me, I openly and often said, I’m not really creative”. As such, I focused my activities and jobs on those where logic was an asset. The only problem? I actually was creative, too.
I realized I was creative when writing my first book, Mood, Food and Gratitude – Healing from the Way We Think (due out soon). A passing comment to my editor and confidante, Heather Doyle Fraser, about how much I enjoyed writing and loved being creative, showed me that the intelligent being within knows me better than my mind ever could. I was, and am, creative. Sure, I might be logical, but there is much more to me than that. Like all of us, I am not just one thing, or one way. I am many things and many ways. Best not to put a limit on any of it. In that way, we can experience our true selves instead of our mind selves.
Since realizing the truth, I have been embracing my creativity and letting it flow. The result is that I feel freer, less stressed, and stronger. It might seem odd to think we could feel freer by just being creative, but creativity is freedom. This is due to its flow. Creativity doesn’t get caught up in rules, preconceived ideas, and what we have been trained to think and do. No, creativity is none of that. Instead, it is complete openness to allow and to see what’s possible. Here, unlimited is the key word.
What about feeling stronger? How do we get that from creativity? As I said, when I started embracing my creative side, I became all of me. I was no longer operating by being part of me. Working as the whole self, instead of just part of a self, is an obviously stronger position for anyone.
Being all of me has had a massively positive effect on my life. What could you experience if you didn’t follow logic or training? How could your life be if you didn’t limit yourself in any way?
Be Happy, Healthy and More
Research suggests creative people are happier. Drawing, or working with any art, has been specifically shown to build self-esteem and increase motivation. Certainly, a higher self-perception and feeling motivated makes us happier. Not only that, art awakens the senses, opening the heart and mind allowing us to see the bigger picture of life—the beauty, the spirituality, and the connection of it all.
Art, including music, supports and improves emotional intelligence for children and adults. This is helpful in dealing with life challenges, problem solving, and experiencing joy in discovering one’s real self. Being creative also means we are able to understand more about others. Understanding is a key in expressing love. This is one way creativity connects us with each other.
I said above that I feel less stressed in my life since embracing my creativity. It seems, like so many of us, I was stifling my creativity because my focus was on planning, doing, and reviewing. This mindless repetition can be pretty stressful for any of us. It clearly doesn’t allow any creativity. It’s like input/output. It’s lifeless and boring. A lot of our stress arises from work and family and we don’t seem to turn it off no matter where we are. We bring work stress home and take family stress to work. It adversely affects our health and happiness.
So what’s the answer? Get creative. We can reduce our stress and improve our immune systems, provide healthy support for our hearts, and allow whatever healing is needed to do its work. Let’s do something we love instead of doing the same thing over and over. Let’s get a camera and start taking photographs of nature or start that dance class we keep stewing over. Creativity can be almost anything where we can immerse ourselves, opening up possibilities, solving issues or just making something new. Don’t limit yourself. Just start creating today.
Ways to Get Creative
The interesting thing about creativity is that it just happens. It’s not really something you plan for and certainly not something you force to happen. But it is something that you can notice as it happens. Creativity is an experience, a state of being.
Opening our hearts and minds to creativity means we can make shifts, or changes, in our daily routines to open the way for creative experiences. For instance, you can start by cutting out all references to not being creative, right after you turn off the TV. You could also go for a walk in nature and notice the green grass, the swaying trees, and listen to the songs of the birds. Or you could sing silly, made-up songs to your kids or pets. It doesn’t matter what you do, just create. Discover something new about yourself, someone else, or the world.
I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that being a part of something that is imaginative, artistic, and innovative also gives us an opportunity to experience the wonderful benefits of creativity. For instance, last night, I went to the Solas Festival in Perth, Scotland. We sat in The Barn listening to live artists of all kinds. One of those artists was Harry Baker, a poet—a very special poet. I thought I was going to be bored stiff when he took the stage, but I was so glad my mind was wrong about this one, as it always is. He was amazing and inspiring. But even more than that, I felt an inner peace when he was reading his poetry. I had no idea poetry could have this effect on us, but apparently it does. Peace brings healing within. So, if you want to get creative and healthy at the same time, go listen to a poet. You can also read poetry or write poetry. Remember, the possibilities are endless.
Being creative has so many benefits for us. It is open to anything and everything. I find creativity so magical because it feels as though it reflects to us who we really are. It tells the truth about our divine nature—that we are everything and everywhere, and our possibilities are endless.
Mark Lewis Wagner, 10 Reasons Why Art is Good, Drawing on Earth, 2015, http://www.drawingonearth.org/resources/10-reasons-why/